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BAE Systems: Space Technology SME Challenge

23/10/2018 -

Workshop Background

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Government recognise that the technology currently being developed is critical to their programmes and have set a target of 25% of all contracts to be awarded to SME’s. Unfortunately, the Government and the MOD have difficulty engaging with SME in an effective way. The existing governance and policy restrict innovation for Space sector SMEs which prohibit them to take advantage of the opportunities within the Space Defence market.

BAE Systems recognise the challenge and will aim to overcome this barrier by mediating between the two positions. They will do this not as a space prime but as an enabler into the space defence market. BAE Systems will offer a holistic partnership at development stage as well as be an enabler to provide an exploitation route to deployment into the MOD and the Space Defence market.


BAE Systems will work with SMEs on the day to develop ideas to solve problems in 8 “challenge areas”. These topics will be drawn from both customer requirements and technology exploitation opportunities and may include:

  • Microwave Hardware
  • Tracking, Telemetry and Command Innovations
  • Complex Antennas
  • Remote Sensing
  • Security
  • Radiation Hardened Components
  • Power Generation
  • MOD led challenge (to be confirmed)

Attendees can submit their ideas throughout the course of the day, and BAE Systems will review each in terms of the technology, route to exploitation and customer appetite. BAE Systems will look to take promising ideas forward, working with the SME to help them develop and exploit their ideas and gain access to the larger customers.

BAE Systems support will begin with a technical evaluation of your idea, and may also include:

  • Experimental evaluation (at laboratory scale)
  • Initial demonstration using BAE Systems Technology and Satellite enabled solutions
  • Exploring potential production mechanisms
  • Early-stage prototyping
  • Product development planning
  • Intellectual property protection

Why Attend

SMEs in the space sector are encouraged to attend this event to become a stakeholder in the Space Defence market. The benefits to attending this event include:

  1. The chance to understand a range of industry problems and challenges, and collaborate with other SMEs and BAE Systems experts to generate innovating solutions.
  2. Future support from BAE Systems as an enabler into the space defence market.
  3. Potential for partnership with BAE Systems at the development stage and guidance towards an exploitation route to deployment.
  4. Engagement with the relevant space sector contacts in the Ministry of Defence, Joint Forces Command and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).

Event Activities include

  • BAE Systems and the Satellite Applications Catapult will host 8 facilitated stations presenting a Customer challenge or Technology Exploitation challenge.
    • Attendees will visit each station in structured sessions to collaborate with facilitators and other attendees, to discuss and propose solutions to real-world problems.
    • Any ideas generated will be reviewed by BAE Systems with a view to working alongside the SME to mature the ideas, find a route to exploitation and enable access to the market.
  • Introduction to BAE Systems and their Space Market
  • Presentation from MOD who will contribute a challenge as well as detail key information about DSTL programs and how the SMEs can enhance their involvement.
  • Presentation by UKSPACE.
  • Networking event to talk to other SMEs and return to challenge stations for further discussion.


BAE Systems will create opportunities within the Space and Defence markets for SMEs to exploit their ideas and access government customers, for the benefit of the industry as a whole. BAE Systems hope to be able to take any collaborative proposals to the customer for funding consideration within 6 to 12 months of the event.


The information from this form will be kept by the Satellite Applications Catapult and BAE Systems for the purpose of this event. Click here to see the Satellite Applications Catapult Privacy Policy.

Following successful registration each recipient will receive the full scope of the BAE Systems: Space Technology SME Challenge Event. This will include:

  • Descriptions of the BAE Systems Challenge Stations where available
  • “Quad Charts” with guidance for submitting ideas in the SME Challenge
  • Eligibility Criteria
  • Webinar instructions

All successful registrations will be invited to attend a webinar briefing – date TBC

More information

If you would like to get in touch for more information please email us at

Back to Events

Izzy Taylor
Marketing Manager
+44 (0)1235 567999
Izzy joined the Catapult in 2014 and has held various positions across the Marketing team, including event management and digital communications.

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